(Note that this post remains a working draft – to be continued)
Whilst browsing in Twitter today I came across a mention of a new study that sounded rather interesting. Here is a link to the tweet I saw, plus a link to the relevant page in the web site of an organisation as ANROWS (Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety Limited). It appears that ANROWS commissioned the study.
ANROWS receives substantial government funding support (in 2019/20 this amounted to $10,410,025). The feminist leanings of that organisation, are made quite clear in this paper, for example.
Let’s start with a document word search. ‘Men’ appeared 51 times, generally with words like ‘department’ or ‘women’. An exception were references to men as perpetrators of domestic violence (p3). ‘Women’ appeared 14 times, mostly within titles of reports or organisations. One exception was “the judicial officer as a powerful voice in a good position to capture the attention of the perpetrator and to denounce violence against women and their children” (p6). The term ‘victim’ did not appear once.
Next, what topics would I hope to see, and perhaps even expect to see, addressed in a project like this?
– the accuracy or otherwise of judicial officers understanding of the nature, extent and trends with regards to domestic violence – and particularly with regards to gender differences
– the virtual absence of perpetrator intervention programs for female offenders
– the shortage of refuges or treatment facilities for male victims (some with children)
– the apparent gender inequity with regards to being taken to a police station, arrest, sentencing, etc.
– gender differences in the cause and/or underlying factors common to perpetrators of abuse and/or violence
This joint select committee was established on 21 October 2020 to inquire into and report on coercive control in domestic relationships. In conducting the inquiry, the committee will consider the NSW Government discussion paper on coercive control and answer the questions posed in the paper.
Submissions closed on the 29 January 2021, and hearings were held in February and March 2021.
This line has cropped up before but this latest incantation began with a discussion on the Australian TV show ‘Studio 10’. In this particular episode Ms Yumi Stynes declared a woman on the panel to be racist. Kindly refer to this article for some background.
Yumi has already had her recent share of progressive infamy – refer to her hosting role in an SBS show entitled ‘Is Australia sexist?‘
And then Aboriginal activist Elizabeth Wymarra had this to say online, “Just to clarify, Australian statistics show that Violence against Indigenous women and children is predominantly perpetrated by White Males. but again @Studio10au conveniently leave that statistic out to demonise Indigenous Men” (Source)
Their ABC presented us with a telling headline yesterday (29 April 2021):
‘Queensland’s domestic violence taskforce head wants to hear women’s stories of reporting abuse‘ (Source)
It began with “The head of a Queensland domestic violence and justice taskforce says women’s experiences reporting abuse to police will be looked at as part of the wide-ranging review, more than a week after the horrific deaths of Kelly Wilkinson and Lordy Ramadan”.
Queensland has had one or more DV task forces before, plus several inquiries, but they still need to hear from Queensland women. (Read about those previous inquiries here). Men, just wait, your turn will come … err … later.
It then went on to talk about another possible initiative, women-only police stations. Talk about being seen to be doing something … whilst conveniently pandering to the feminist lobby.
This is not even part-way to being ‘good-enough’. It’s a pathetic embarrassment.
Newsflash: At least one in three victims of domestic abuse are male. You can’t possibly arrive at a workable solution to this violence and abuse by ignoring all the facets that don’t sit comfortably well with the prevailing feminist framework. And thus we haven’t. Just continual shrill calls from the feminist lobby for ‘more please sir’. More taxpayer dollars that is.
It disgusts me how often I come across this claim. I invariably then look for sources to fire back at the author/s of these spurious claims … and can’t find something quickly. There are probably relevant sources in this existing post and/or in this one, but from now on I will insert them onto this page.
If readers can point me towards other relevant sources, that would be much appreciated.
On 26 February 2020, the Senate referred an inquiry into domestic violence with particular regard to violence against women and their children to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee for report by 13 August 2020.
The Inquiry has been completed earlier than was scheduled and its report is available here.
This article describes the early completion of the report and the adverse reaction it received from the feminist lobby. I have yet to fully read the report, but one useful feature is a brief summary of the many enquiries that preceded it.
From an egalitarian perspective the dissenting report from Senator Rex Patrick is disappointing – and hypocritical beyond belief in terms of what was, wasn’t, and should have been addressed by the Committee.
I note too that the term ‘male victim’ appears only twice in the 44 page report, in each case only as a brief passing reference to recommendations from earlier inquiries.
2. The Inquiry (Revised version)
What do you do when a powerful and vocal part of your audience isn’t happy? Yes, that’s right, you commence another inquiry:
This article discusses the submission by ‘Women’s Safety NSW’ which can be read in full here (see #150). Women’s Safety calls for “$12 billion over 12 years to invest in evidence-based solutions to the nation’s domestic and family violence scourge“.
Those making submissions were asked to address one or more of the topics listed in the terms of reference.
And the outcome thus far? The report was published on 1 April 2021. The ‘One in Three’ organisation, who contributed to the inquiry have advised that progress was made (as is detailed in their media release here).
I haven’t written anything more about the topic. Yet at the same time, it is something which is put in our face every time the media (TV) runs an item on domestic violence and finishes with the advice to call (such and such agency) if “you are troubled by violent or abusive behaviour from your partner”. Which leaves everyone thinking that at least some help is available for (all) victims of domestic behaviour. But it’s not so.
Most agencies in the domestic violence sector will either turn male callers away or will (officially) cater for them, but on the (wink/nudge) understanding that they are either abusers trying to locate their partners, or are simply abusers in denial.
But now the topic of whether domestic violence help-lines actually do assist male callers has been raised again by an English researcher, Deborah Powney (Twitter id = @Firebird_psych). On 14 April 2020 Deborah began sending daily tweets as per the following:
Simple question. Shouldn’t take long to answer. And she waited. And while she did, she asked one or two further questions, for example:
“Could you provide the numbers of female perpetrators you have helped in the past 12 month? Could also provide the number of female perpetrator programmes that Respect have accredited in the same time period?” (To @RespectUK on 29 April 2020)
It took until 15 May 2020 before Deborah received an initial response.
“Hi, the National Domestic Abuse Helpline is branded as a women’s helpline, however if we do receive calls from men the Helpline our staff will always listen, risk assess, address any safeguarding issues and validate the experience. They will then refer them to the Men’s Advice Line which provides specialist support for men.”
Deborah responded the same day, as follows: “Thank you for your response. Just to clarify – you do not help male victims at all – other than ‘immediate’ referal to the @RespectUK men’s helpline. Is that correct?”
@RefugeCharity further responded (also 15 May 2020)
“Hi, the National Domestic Abuse Helpline is branded as a women’s helpline, however if we do receive calls from men the Helpline our staff will always listen, risk assess, address any safeguarding issues and validate the experience. The national domestic abuse helpline, which Refuge runs, is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days week. If male callers contact us, we refer them immediately to the men’s advice line, which is a specialist service for male victims of domestic abuse. They will then refer them to the Men’s Advice Line which provides specialist support for men.”
On 15 May 2020 Deborah then asked:
“Can @RefugeCharity@ukhomeoffice be clear what support the 24 hour National DA Helpline gives to male victims of domestic abuse when the @RespectUK taxpayer- funded “Men’s Advice Line” is closed (from either 5pm or 8pm weekdays to 9am & weekends) @nicolejacobsST@pritipatel”
@martintandc @RespectUK @JoTodd4 Could you clearly explain why you make specific reference to male terrorists in your Toolkit for working with Male Victims of domestic abuse for the Men’s Advice Line? @nicolejacobsST @pritipatel @ukhomeoffice @mankind @MartinDaubney @PhilipDaviesUK
“For instance, the biggest denominator in acts of terrorism and mass killings is that almost all of the perpetrators are men. Women suffer mental illness at roughly the same rate as men, but almost none commit large-scale violence. Similarly, the levels of suicide for men are much greater then for women, because of social pressure on men not to seek help to deal with their emotional problems”. (Source)
From reading this material it seems obvious to me that staff in the relevant agencies had not considered how male callers were being dealt with, let alone how they should be dealt with. The topic was not even ‘on the radar’ as it was seemingly seen to be unimportant, and offering to assist men at all was seen as merely a token gesture.
You might wish to now refer to Deborah’s Twitter account to see if any further responses have been received from government, domestic violence industry, or readers.
(Some information about Deborah’s current research project regarding the experience of male victims of domestic violence can be found here.)
Readers may also find these papers to be of interest:
Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic the feminist lobby has claimed that there has been a surge* in domestic violence. (*Note that the term ‘surge’ has been well and truly overtaken by now, more recently by ‘staggering increase‘ or ‘driving a spike‘). This trend has manifested itself across several countries, with the UN Women agency being a significant player. UN Women has produced guidelines in relation to gathering data about domestic violence against women.
The feminist lobby has linked this alleged increase in violence to, in particular, the common practice of governments requiring people to quarantine in their own homes. The proof offered to support the feminist position has primarily been claimed to be significant increases in call volume to DV help-lines (largely operated by feminist NGO’s). There have also been similar claims made in relation to alleged increases in traffic to web sites dealing with the welfare of victims of DV.
In only one of the media articles I read, prior to uploading this post, was reference made to an increase in the number of calls to police. This did not relate to increases in the number of charges laid, nor punishments meted out, but rather to queries made by people concerned about a perceived threat of DV.
I would suggest, as have others, that domestic violence is the feminist lobby’s primary cash-cow. Consider too, for example, the salary of DV agency bosses such as Sandra Horley, who is reported to receive a remuneration package of more than £210,000. The British Prime Minister is currently paid approx. £155,000.
To base government policy, even just one-off hand-outs of public money, on unverified allegations, is at best naïve. And when such claims are being provided by individuals with a vested interest in promoting a public view of a problem that they assert to be large & growing. Well, one might label such vested interest ‘ideological bias’, ‘pecuniary interest’, or worse as per the flow-chart below (Source). But whatever you call it, it is by no means competent, objective, unbiased research.
It is particularly annoying that whilst the feminist-saturated domestic violence industry is loudly proclaiming a jump in violence in the home, they are maintaining their silence with respect to the reality of female-perpetrated assaults/abuse of men and children.
The other galling issue, although unrelated to Covid-19, is that I have belatedly learnt that, in the UK, the rate of women being killed by their partner was now at a 40 year low (Source). You would think that this would be shouted from the rooftops, wouldn’t you? Well, unless people sought to maintain perception of a growing epidemic. One that desperately demands further public funding.
What follows now are a series of media releases or articles dealing with the issue, presented in reverse chronological order:
“The Andrews government has announced an extra $20m for family violence prevention, citing an increase in demand for “perpetrator services” during the coronavirus pandemic. Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence Gabrielle Williams cited an 11 per cent increase since last year in calls to the Men’s Referral Service.”
Domestic violence on the rise during pandemic (13 July 2020) “The survey of 15,000 Australian women in May provides the most detailed information in the world about the prevalence and nature of domestic violence experienced by women during the pandemic.” How many men did they say were surveyed? That would be *none*
No spike in home violence, police say (10 June 2020) ‘The Australian’ newspaper tells us that NSW authorities “almost doubled domestic violence checks” but found “no increase in abuse rates“.
“Professor Wendt says women are experiencing violence at a more “intense level” as they try to survive the restrictions and plan their escape as measures lift”. Needless to say, what constitutes a “more intense level” is left to the imagination, and no supporting statistics are provided to quantify intensity.
” … I have just had 50 front-line workers on a statewide forum on the phone and all of them are saying how much busier it is… and now the stats come back to prove it”. “Stats” that agency staff themselves generated … what could go wrong?
“Ms Foster said the figures were concerning because they conflicted with a recent report from the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, which found “domestic violence assaults recorded by police did not increase in March 2020, despite social distancing measures commencing … But Ms Foster said the report had sent a “dangerous message” to victims and policymakers. She said it was “irresponsible to put out a report drawing a conclusion that fears that domestic violence would increase hadn’t been realised.”
“The Queensland Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, Di Farmer, said authorities across the country were grappling with an “amplification” of abuse caused by the COVID-19 outbreak and tough health restrictions.
Domestic violence crisis centres in the state have experienced a 40 per cent spike in calls for help since the start of the pandemic …”
“The most concerning statistic came from Google data, with the Federal Government seeing a 75 per cent increase in searches about family and domestic violence compared to the average number of searches over the previous five years.”
“Alison Macdonald, acting chief executive of Domestic Violence Victoria, said there was clear evidence a surge in demand was coming. “We know from international evidence that there are spikes in family violence in post emergency and post crisis situations,” she said. “We know from Australian experience with bushfires, with floods and with cyclones.”
“To estimate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on efforts to end gender-based violence, Avenir Health modelled a delay in the scale-up of prevention efforts as attention and resources are devoted to COVID-19, and an increase in violence during the period of lockdown. Assuming a slow start to the scale-up of prevention programmes (i.e., a 2-year delay in 2020 and 2021), followed by a rapid expansion of prevention programs in the middle of the decade, an estimated 2 million additional instances of intimate partner violence in 2020-2021 are expected.”
“COVID-19 pandemic is likely to cause a one-third reduction in progress towards ending gender-based violence by 2030”
“For every 3 months the lockdown continues, an additional 15 million additional cases of gender-based violence are expected”
That’s right, no police reports were used to generate predictions. It was all based on modelling. Remarkable. And of course, no mention anywhere of female perpetration.
“The Federal Government will launch an inquiry into the family law system, after accusations the court system is failing vulnerable Australians.
Coalition backbenchers and the crossbench, including One Nation leader Pauline Hanson, have been calling for an inquiry for some time, arguing the system is too expensive and slow.
The inquiry will be run by former social services minister and long-serving Liberal MP Kevin Andrews.” (Source)
The feminist lobby and their domestic violence industry took great umbrage at this announcement. And so it began.
The Committee’s home page can be found here, and details concerning the making of submissions can be found here.
The first specific matter that the feminists got upset about was Pauline Hanson’s reference to the practice whereby some women make false claims against their former partners in family court, esp. in relation to domestic violence and sexual assault (refer example of outrage in the media).
In terms of topics related to the treatment of victims, another issue was that of couples counselling (related article). The feminist DV Industry is generally opposed to this practice, claiming that it exposes women to additional unnecessary risk. But not everyone was of the same view (related article).
Another curious complaint from various feminist spokespersons was that there had been too many inquiries, and the proposed inquiry was both unnecessary and would delay progress. This is extraordinary given the ongoing vocal urging for more inquiries/commissions/etc despite the many state and federal inquiries that have taken place – particularly related to domestic violence. A number of these inquiries can be seen listed in the relevant section of my Table of Contents page.
Submissions to the Family Law Inquiry have now closed, and a final report was due to be submitted in October 2020. On 31 August 2020, both Houses of Parliament agreed to extend the reporting date to the last sitting day in February 2021. An interim report was subsequently released on 7 October 2020.
In closing, how many, if any, of the following groups explicitly represent fathers/men and/or male victims of domestic abuse? How many have anything approaching gender equality with regards to their board and/or their staff?
Other posts in this blog that you might find relevant include: